Another glimpse into the works of state-owned media in China

Note: This blog post also ran in the Society of Professional Journalism’s “Journalism and the World” blog. Click here to see the original post (and comments).

For another view of working in China, by 24-year-old Charlie Gidney, who writes for the China Daily, check out his blog Positive Solutions.

In Sunday’s post Boxes he talks about the various constraints that the English-language state-owned media are under.

I can’t imagine what it must be like, starting your journalism career at a censored publication.

In my 15 years as a journalist, I can’t remember a time when one of my stories was canned because of political or advertising considerations.

Though, of course, there have been plenty of instances when a story was sent back because an editor wanted me to do additional reporting or fix writing problems.

I am surprised by how often this question comes up, however — and how frequently people don’t believe my answer.

There is plenty of control in the US media, of course, but I believe it tends to have more to do with distribution of resources. Certain topics get more reporters thrown at them than others. (And I’m not talking about the television networks, but of the print media where I’ve worked — news wires, newspapers, businesss magazines.)

As a result, as far as individual reporters are concerned, they can just go out and do their job. And leave it up to the editors to argue with the publishers about how much coverage certain areas require.

Signing off in Shanghai,